05 March, 2015

A major reference book on scorpion venoms and scorpionism


Last Fall a major reference book on scorpion venoms and scorpionism around the world was published. I haven't read this book yet, but I will later and I plan to post information about the most interesting chapters in the blog. Unfortunately, the book is very expensive to purchase (unless your university has a Springer ebook subscription).

Information about the book Scorpion Venoms from Springer

The publisher has the following information about the content of the book:
  • Provides accessible yet in-depth entries on the state of the art of scorpion venom research
  • Introduces scorpion biology and ecology and covers studies of their venom and “anti-venoms”
  • Contains species-centered overviews and examines the scorpion toxins
  • Explores the complex interactions of scorpion venoms with the immune system
Scorpions have fascinated humans for a long time, first and foremost because of the harm the sting of a few species could cause but also due to their unique natural history and for the many biologically active compounds found in their venoms. This volume of the Toxinology handbook series covers all those aspects. The subjects are divided into seven sections starting with an introduction to the general aspects of scorpion biology and ecology, followed by the description of the “envenomation” pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of venoms and their complex interactions with the immune system. The future of anti-scorpion venom therapy is then covered in two chapters dedicated to alternatives to the century-old techniques currently used to produce “anti-venoms”. The next section presents a world tour of “scorpionism” and dangerous scorpion species and their impact on human health. It is worth remembering that envenomation due to scorpion stings is a substantial health hazard in Asian, Middle Eastern, African, and Latin American countries, with over one million people stung by scorpions every year, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths. Species-centered overviews of “scorpion venoms” are presented in the next section, after which a section details the two main types of “scorpion toxins”. The last section covers high-throughput transcriptome and proteome screenings now known as “venomics”.

Reference:
Gopalakrishnakone P, Possani LDF, Schwartz E, Rodríguez de la Vega RC, editors. Scorpion Venoms. Dordrecht: Springer; 2014. [Subscritpion is required for access to the full text of the book]

Thanks to Dr. Adolfo Borges for sending me a copy of his chapter in the book and thereby notifying me about this book!

1 comment:

Juliea Huffaker said...

I'm going to purchase this book! Looks like lots of great information for scorpion experts in Arizona, as Arizona Bark Scorpions are abundant here in the Phoenix area, and is the most venomous scorpion in the USA. There are several stings every year, but an anti venom is available. It's pretty expensive though. Good scorpion information to have!